Peter Bacon’s Jazz Breakfast blog has a very good piece about the issues raised by the “Musicians Against Playing for Free at the Olympic” Facebook group started by Ashley Slater, which is producing a welter of comment from jazz musicians.
UPDATE: Here’s the text of an engagement letter which has appeared elsewhere in te public domain:
Festival during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
We would like to program you from 12.30pm – 3pm in the afternoon as we feel your work suits the post Games celebratory mood.
A message from London 2012:
Your talents will be instrumental in creating a fantastic and memorable experience for our spectators.
Eton Dorney will be welcoming around 30,000 Spectators a day during the Games and we would like to fill the venue with fun and vibrancy through music and performance, as well as world class sport! Our aim is to create a once in a lifetime experience for all our spectators and extend the magic of the Games to the sessions both before and after the sporting competition and give everyone a thoroughly good day out. Huge thanks to you for helping us achieve this goal!
This is an extremely high profile project and there will be media attention on the venue at all times. This is both exciting for you as performers and also brings its own set of rules to bear in mind:
This is an unusually high-profile project and there will be security screening and reference checks which will need to be complied with in order to access the venue (if you are performing in the ‘in venue’ locations)
We take the safety of our spectators and performers very seriously and have procedures in place to keep people safe at all times. However please make sure that you take responsibility for ensuring your own health and safety, as well as that of those around you.
Transportation will not be provided to and from the venue, between performance areas and back of house.
All instruments, costumes, equipment and other items relating to your performance must be carried through the personal screening areas and throughout the venue. Do think about the portability of items such as keyboards etc.
Eton Dorney is a family-friendly, international and inclusive environment, so your performance must be appropriate to all ages and cultures.
You are not permitted to sell or distribute merchandise or promotional material. You are not permitted to accept money at any time.
You are not permitted to wear clothing that features branding (names/logos), including references to the Games.
You are not permitted to use of associate yourself with the London 2012 Logo or the Olympic Games or promote or advertise that you are performing at the Games.
You will be required to complete an accreditation form as soon as possible (latest 22nd June 2012), to enable you to take part in this event. We will also ask you to sign a Performer contract as well to confirm that you agree to our terms and conditions and return these two forms to The Firestation Arts Centre by email and then a separate copy in the post.
We look forward to working with you and sharing your talent with the world!
Our current budget allows for £50 per act per hour. (Please let us know if that amount enables you to be able to attend)
What to do now:
Please respond to this email just to let us know you have recived it then let us know your availability between those dates ASAP. The London 2012 Dorney visitors experience team have passed on the accreditation form and checks needed to have your pass created. I’m sure you can appreciate that with the status of the performance area we need to have a certain level of security for the safety of everyone involved. The forms are attached to this email. Please print them off and send them back to us or scan in/email them. Important Info: All artists do have to travel to East London to pick up their accreditation for the venue, (this is across the board for all Olympic events – even Paul McCartney has had to do this!). If you are keen on joining for the Paralympics – London 2012 are very interested in programming performance for these events too. – expression of interest is enough – all forms and availability is for the Olympic dates ONLY (28th July – 11 August)The London 2012 legal department have said that performers will not be able to use the logo or suggest that they are ‘endorsed’ or involved in the Games themselves.But:All performers will however be allowed to make a factual statement that LOCOG is a client on client list. This is made clear in the clauses of your contract. Your names will also be printed via a programme from the Firestation’s Games Walk Performance Festival which is an accredited London 2012 Inspire marked project.
Remember, the Games Walk Performance Festival also stretches across to the Firestation’s home venue – with free venue hire and some special music events planned which you are all invited to join (with ticket split 50/50) you may not be able to sell your records on site, but you can inform the spectators that you will be staying in Windsor if they want to come to your gig – which will also be promoted through the Games.
This group deserves all the publicity it can get. The vastly over-exposed and over-hyped Games has a budget that would fund UK jazz, folk, techno, improv, dance and even opera until long after we've all gone beyond caring so to expect musicians to play for free is, as has been said, an insult.
Of course, plenty of people will be willing to play for free – and sadly some major rock and pop names [Muse ???] seem to be falling over themselves to 'celebrate' the Olympics. Didn't rock used to be the music of rebellion? Maybe a big name or two will withdraw in support of this protest…
It'd be great if you could encourage people to sign the petition: the link is here.
This contract is great! How to formalize volunteer slavery (and the slave must take responsibility for health an safety).
I would like to add that in those three weeks, also non olympic-related events are going missing; apparently there are no gigs.
Even the cafe Posk had to cancel a few concerts.